"Everyone has a talent. What is exceptional is the courage to follow the talent to the dark places where it leads." This famous line of Erica Jong suitably fits the success story of K Raju like none else.
Once a timid boy from Berhampur city of Odisha, Raju is now a familiar name in Bollywood, all thanks to his passion and courage to pursue dreams without worrying for where they might lead him to.
Raju embarked on his professional journey from a small saloon in his hometown and made it to top circles in B-town by styling hair and transforming the looks of some of the famous celebrities including Varun Dhawan, Tiger Shroff, Malaika Arora and many others.
Recollecting his old days, the nostalgic hair designer said, "I inherited this profession of hair cutting and designing at the age of 14. My father used to run a small saloon in Berhampur and during those days, I joined hands and started working with him to earn for family as he struggled a lot to manage everything."
On how he secured a big break in the B-Town, Raju went on to narrate that once Malaika (Arora)'s manager called him to verify his profile after he completed an international course.
"With time, I intended to develop my skills for which I attended several national-level trainings. After I had completed an international course, one day, he (the manager) dialed me as he was impressed with my work and skills. My journey with Bollywood celebrities began with Super Model Season 2 and then after I got more and more opportunities," said Raju.
"In the initial days of venturing with the celebrities, I was a bit nervous but was enthralled at the same time as I got such a big opportunity on a big platform. Meanwhile, I also learned several new things about professionalism," the hair designer said recalling the beginning days of his career in the country's top cine industry.
As they say, hard work pays off, Raju has never turned back since then. Now, along with setting up an advanced hair cutting and hair designing saloon in his home town, he has also set up several other branches in different states across the country.
His efforts are on to give a modern touch to his art and skills of haircutting and designing for people.
Raju's journey is more like Christiano Ronaldo's inspirational story from rags to stardom and it makes even more sense with the soccer GOAT's comment "Talent without working hard is nothing".